No shame in asking for help: Where to get a free holiday meal, groceries this month
Hannah Edelman - Delaware Online
The holiday season is the "most generous time of the year," according to St. Patrick's Center Executive Director Peter Slattery, who said many people want to give back, including by donating to and volunteering at the Wilmington-based community center.
But for others — especially with inflation still sky-high — dedicating their time and resources is simply not feasible. Making ends meet is hard enough on its own, and with many holiday traditions involving food, even putting together a meal may seem impossible.
The number of people relying on the St. Patrick Center's daily grocery distribution has nearly doubled since the start of the year, according to Slattery. And while homelessness and unemployment — especially in Wilmington — are definitely contributing factors, many people have started receiving the center's assistance for the first time.
Slattery said that's more than OK.
"A lot of people who work here, myself included, have been on the other side of the line," he said.
Food insecurity doesn't vanish when the holiday season ends. In fact, Slattery said the St. Patrick's Center sees most people coming for food over the summer, when children don't have access to free lunches at school. He said he hopes people will continue to volunteer and donate to the community center year-round.
Most organizations hosting food distributions for the holidays also provide free food and other resources all year. But for those specifically seeking help for this month, here is a list of upcoming food giveaways as of Dec. 8. Not all groups that hosted Thanksgiving turkey giveaways are doing a similar distribution this month.
New Castle County
The Sunday Breakfast Mission will host food box giveaways this month on Saturday, Dec. 10 and Saturday, Dec. 22 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at 110 N. Poplar St. in Wilmington. Families can only receive one box a month, and advanced registration is required by calling 302-652-8314 or filling out an online form on their website. The organization also gives out free meals every day from 5:45 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
The Food Bank of Delaware will give away hams and other food at its monthly food distribution on Friday, Dec. 16, at Delaware Technical Community College in Stanton starting at 10 a.m. Proof of Delaware residency is required. Register in advance at Dec16NCC.eventbrite.com or come the day of on a first-come, first-serve basis.
The St. Patrick's Center will host their monthly grocery distribution for dairy, meat and produce — as well as blankets, hats, scarves and gloves — on Saturday, Dec. 17 from 9 a.m. to noon at 107 E. 14th St. in Wilmington on a first-come, first-serve basis. Proof of Delaware residency is required. The organization also gives out free meals and other groceries every weekday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Delaware Regional Dream Center will distribute turkeys and wrapped toys to families in need on a first-come, first-serve basis at their live nativity event at Parkview Assembly of God in Newark from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 16 and Saturday, Dec. 17.
The Food Bank of Delaware will give away hams and other food at its monthly food distribution on Wednesday, Dec. 15, at Dover Motor Speedway starting at 10 a.m. Attendees should enter from Leipsic Road. Proof of Delaware residency is required. Register in advance at Dec14Kent.eventbrite.com or day of on a first-come, first-serve basis.
The Food Bank of Delaware will give away hams and other food at its monthly food distribution on Monday, Dec. 12, at Crossroad Community Church in Georgetown starting at 10 a.m. Proof of Delaware residency is required. Register in advance at Dec12Sussex.eventbrite.com or come the day of on a first-come, first-serve basis.